A new study asked businesses to predict the factors that will be most disruptive to the telecom industry. The number one answer was the death of the landline/desk phone. The second most popular answer was a switch to 100% VoIP over long-term evolution (LTE). The third most cited answer was the “death of plain old telephone service (POTS).”
What struck us, upon reading the survey results, was that the top three answers are really saying the same thing: businesses are moving away from desk phones and the service limitations associated with them.
So should this study be seen as a death knell for voice communication? In the words of the Magic 8 Ball: “Don’t count on it.”
Telephony is evolving because devices are evolving. The publishers of the study, inetwork, remarked that as phones migrate toward mobile, IP-enabled devices “a phone will become less of a single object used for the single purpose of sending and receiving calls, and more of a capability within a larger context.”
It’s for this reason that the businesses surveyed remarked that their biggest threat will come from new competition (47%), as companies use telephony APIs to integrate voice and SMS features into industry-changing applications.
In order for telephony companies to stay relevant, they will have to do more than enable audio conversations. In many industries, more than 50% of deals are closed over the phone. However, we also believe that an audio conversation is only part of sales communication. Sales agents research prospects, view their social media feeds, study their CRM records and then update their CRM records after calls.
We don’t think you need a time machine to find out what office phones will look like in the future. We’ve always thought that the iPad is a great candidate for Office Phone 2.0, and these days, we’re also using the iPad Mini to make most of our calls.
Will voice apps help you have more productive conversations in and out of the office? I consulted my trusty Magic 8 Ball and “signs point to yes!”